Mongo Santamaria —
Red Hot ... LP Tappan Zee, 1979. Very Good+ Gatefold ...
A great Bob James-directed session from Mongo Santamaria – and a set that takes the fusion-inflected Latin work he was doing on the Vaya label, and blends it with an even tighter, sharper CTI Records vibe! The approach is a bit like that combination of underground Latin and larger label resources that brought great sounds to both Ray Barretto and the Fania All Stars at the time – and the session features excellent CTI help from Bob James on keyboards, Eric Gale on guitar, and Hubert Laws on flute – the latter of whom got his start working with Mongo in the 60s! Titles include a funky electric remake of "Watermelon Man", plus the cuts "Afro Cuban Fantasy", "Jamaican Sunrise", "Jai Alai", and "Sambita". LP, Vinyl record album
A Latin soul party – beyond compare! The album's a completely wonderful live set that really captures the energy, excitement, and warm sociability of the hip New York scene at the end of the 60s. The music is stunning – a freewheeling blend of jazz, soul, and Latin themes – played with effortless ease by a lineup that includes Joe Bataan, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Bobby Quesada, Louie Ramirez, Ralph Robles, and some of the other heavy-hitters of the Latin soul years. (Just imagine trying to get so many jazz or rock talents together on one stage – it would never happen!) The album's incredible – and even the spoken introductions and crowd noise really help set the feel of the era's mighty magic power! Titles on this second volume include "Kikapoo Joy Juice", "If This World Were Mine", "Richie's Bag", "Red Garter Strut", and "Son Cuero Y Boogaloo". Firey stuff, and one of their best records! LP, Vinyl record album
A great little Latin session from Cal – recorded with extra percussion from Benny Velarde and Luis Miranda, plus rhythm from the Duran brothers, Manuel (piano) and Carlos (bass). The groove's nice and heavy, pretty driving on most cuts, a perfect foil for Cal's jazzy vibes. Titles include "A Minor Goof", "Laura", "Lullaby In Birdland", "Undecided", and Cal's classic reading of Tito Puente's "Philadelphia Mambo". (Jazz, Latin)LP, Vinyl record album
(Red vinyl pressing. Cover has a split spine, edge wear, and an old price sticker on back.)